Frequently Asked Questions
- When can I retire and how is my pension calculated?
- What pension plan am I in?
- What can I do to increase my pension?
- If I've contributed to more than one pension plan, how will my pension be paid?
- In the event of my death, who is the beneficiary for my pension?
- What is the definition of spouse?
- How do separation and divorce affect my pension?
- What benefits am I entitled to from BCIT upon retirement?
- What benefits am I entitled to from the pension plan upon retirement?
- What benefits are available from the Federal Government upon retirement?
- What pension options are available to me under the Pension Corporation?
- Will my pension be eligible for cost of living adjustments?
- What steps are included in the retirement process?
- When will my pension start?
- Is my pension taxable?
- How and when will my pension be paid?
- What documentation will I have to provide when I retire?
- Where can I obtain copies of marriage certificates and/or birth certificates?
- Can I return to work at BCIT after I retire?
- What is the "BCIT Retiree's Association" and how do I join?
When can I retire and how is my pension calculated?
You can retire as early as age fifty-five (55) and as late as November 30th of the calendar year in which you turn 71 (as outlined in section 8502(e) of the Income Tax Regulations under the Income Tax Act (Canada). Depending on your age and years of service at retirement, you will receive either an unreduced or a reduced pension. For full details on pensions and how they are calculated, see the "FAQ" section under each plan of the Pension Corporation website www.pensionsbc.ca or contact your HR Advisor for an estimate.Top
What pension plan am I in?
- Generally, BCGEU Faculty, Faculty & Staff Association (FSA), and Management Staff are in the College Pension Plan.
- BCGEU Support Staff and FSA Technical Staff are in the Municipal Pension Plan.
- Some BCIT employees who were hired prior to 1986 are in the Public Service Pension Plan.
- To confirm which pension plan you are in, check the code on your pay statement or contact HR.
What can I do to increase my pension?
You may be able to increase your pension benefits by purchasing eligible leaves of absence, past non-contributory service or by transferring service from another eligible pension plan. See the "Your Pension/Taking time off work and buying service" section of each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca or contact HR.Top
If I've contributed to more than one pension plan, how will my pension be paid?
You may be able to combine your services if you are/have been a member of the College, Municipal, Public Service, Teacher's, ICBC or WorkSafeBC Pension Plan. See the “Apply to transfer service between pension plans” under “Your Pension/Employment” section of each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.Top
In the event of my death, who is the beneficiary for my pension?
Your spouse is automatically the beneficiary of your pension. To choose another beneficiary, you need written consent from your spouse. If you don't have a spouse and you haven't named a beneficiary prior to your death, the plan pays death benefits to your estate. For more information, visit the “Your Pension/Beneficiaries” section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.Top
What is the definition of spouse?
Under the Pension Benefits Standards Act, spouse means:
(a) The person you are legally married to and, for the two-year period immediately before the relevant time (e.g., retirement or death), were not separated from* OR;
(b) The person of the same or opposite sex, who has lived with you in a marriage-like relationship for the two-year period immediately before the relevant time.
*You are not considered separated if the separation is due to health reasons.Top
How do separation and divorce affect my pension?
If you divorce or separate, you and your spouse must decide if and how your pension will be divided. To see how divorce or separation affects your pension, visit the “Your Pension/Divorce and separation” section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.Top
What benefits am I entitled to from BCIT upon retirement?
|Vacation||Sick Leave||Retirement Allowance Pre-Retirement Leave|
|BCGEU Faculty||Full vacation entitlement for the final calendar year of service||50% of accumulated sick leave credit (if applicable)||Retirement allowance for employees who have completed 20 or more years of continuous service and who are entitled to receive a Pension Corporation allowance.|
|BCGEU Support Staff||Full vacation entitlement for the final calendar year of service||50% of accumulated sick leave credit (if applicable)||Retirement allowance for employees who have completed 20 or more years of continuous service and who are entitled to receive a Pension Corporation allowance.|
|Faculty & Staff Association||Pro-rated vacation for the calendar year||40% of accumulated sick leave credit||An employee scheduled to retire and to receive a Pension Corporation allowance under the Pension Corporation Act, shall be entitled to:
|Management Staff||Pro-rated vacation for the calendar year||N/A||N/A|
BCIT will cover you for one additional month for MSP, Extended Health and Dental.
Your Group Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) will be reduced from your current level to a flat $10,000 policy at retirement. The reduced coverage will be maintained at BCIT's expense until you reach the age of 70.
Should you wish to convert your coverage at retirement to a standard plan without taking a medical examination, you may apply to Manulife directly.
Your application must be made within 31 days of your 65th birthday or on your last day of employment, whichever occurs first. Any such additional coverage will be at your own expense. Current premiums are based on age, ordinary life, 1 year convertible term or term to 65, and life insurance.
For further details, please contact Manulife at 1 (800) 575-2200.
Note: the information above only applies if you retire on or before the age of 65. For more information on benefit entitlements, if you retire after the age of 65, please refer to the Memorandum of Agreement regarding Mandatory Retirement for your employee group.Top
What benefits am I entitled to from the pension plan upon retirement?
Upon retirement, you are eligible for:
- Monthly pension income,
- Optional coverage under the Medical Services Plan,
- Optional coverage for Extended Health Care and Dental under Pacific Blue Cross for Municipal Plan members and Green Shield for College and Public Service Plan members..
Premium payments may be subsidized up to 100% by the pension plan depending on your length of pensionable service. If you are not subsidized up to 100%, the total cost, or the difference in premium costs, will be deducted from your monthly pension cheque. For more detailed information, see “Guide for plan members/After retirement” section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.Top
What benefits are available from the Federal Government upon retirement?
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
You are eligible for a CPP retirement pension if:
- You are at least 60 years of age. If you take the CPP retirement pension early, it is reduced by 0.6% for each month you receive it before age 65 (7.2% per year). This means that by 2016, an individual who starts receiving their CPP retirement pension at the age of 60 will receive 36% less than if they had taken it at 65.
- The reduction at age 65 is permanent.
Old Age Security (OAS)
What pension options are available to me under the Pension Corporation?
When you apply for your pension, you will be given a variety of options to choose, including spousal benefits, if you have a spouse. You will receive a “Retirement Selection Statement” that quotes the various pension option combinations as well as the amounts those options will pay each month.
Single Life with a 10 Year Guarantee
Other Guarantees on a Single Life Pension
Joint Life PensionA joint life pension is paid for the joint life of you and your spouse. In other words, if your spouse lives longer than you do, they continue to get a pension, based on the percentage of joint life pension you select at retirement. You can choose between 60% and 100% joint life.
Temporary AnnuityA temporary annuity temporarily supplements your pension and is payable until you reach age 65 or die, whichever comes first. This option may help you meet the initial expenses of retirement; however, it permanently reduces your lifetime pension. When the temporary annuity ends, you receive smaller pension payments than you would have if you had left your basic pension intact.
Bridge Benefit (Offset)
Will my pension be eligible for cost of living adjustments?
A cost-of-living increase of up to 100% of the increase in the Canadian Consumer Price Index is applied to pensions in January, if there are sufficient funds in the Inflation Adjustment Account.
Effective 1 January 2011, cost-of-living increases will be determined and capped at three year intervals during the actuarial valuation process. This process takes a "snapshot" of the membership at a given date to determine the plan's liabilities and funded status.
The first increase will be pro-rated based on the number of payments you receive in the calendar year your pension begins. Although future cost-of-living increases are not guaranteed, once a cost-of-living increase is granted, it becomes part of the guaranteed lifetime pension.
For more information visit the “Guide for plan members/After retirement” section under each plan at www.pensionsbc.ca.Top
What steps are included in the retirement process?
- Six months prior to retirement, you must submit a retirement letter to your Manager or Supervisor and copy HR.
- Meet with your HR Advisor to discuss the details.
- Five months prior to retirement, Human Resources will send you a retirement letter with benefits details and Retirement Payment Options information if applicable.
- No more than 90 days prior to your retirement date, you must complete your pension application on-line at the Pensions BC website. If you prefer not to complete the application on-line, you must request your pension package be mailed to you by contacting the Pension Corporation on-line or by telephone at: 1-800-663-8823.
- One month prior to retirement, if you are transferring sick leave banks or retirement allowances in to an RRSP, you must return your Retirement Payment Options form.
- On the payday coincident with your retirement, you will receive a final pay deposit from BCIT.
These are recommended timelines to follow in the retirement process.Top
When will my pension start?
Your retirement date is typically the last day of a month and the effective date of your pension is the first day of the following month.Top
Is my pension taxable?
Yes. Income tax will be deducted from your monthly pension payments, based on information provided by you on your Personal Tax Credit Form. If you want to pay additional taxes, you have to submit your request in writing.
The Pension Corporation will send you an income tax form at the end of February each year.Top
How and when will my pension be paid?
Pension payments can be mailed to your home or directly deposited to your bank, at the end of each month, for that month. To ensure you receive your pension payment on time, the Pension Corporation suggests you consider the direct deposit option.Top
What documentation will I have to provide when I retire?
Where can I obtain copies of marriage certificates and/or birth certificates?
Copies can be obtained through the Department of Vital Statistics in your birth province (or birth country if born outside Canada). There is normally a nominal fee charged for this services. For more information, refer to the BC Government’s website on Birth, Adoption, Death, Marriage & Divorce. Top
Can I return to work at BCIT after I retire?
If an employee retires from the (College, Municipal or Public Service) Pension Plan and then returns to work in an employee category under the same plan as they retired from, they continue receiving their pension and do not have an option to re-enrol in or contribute to the same plan. They must not be re-employed with the same employer, or have any upcoming pre-determined contracts prior to receiving their first pension payment. If an employee is receiving a pension from a different pension plan, or is receiving a pension as a survivor of a deceased member, regular enrolment rules apply.Top
What is the "BCIT Retiree's Association" and how do I join?
The BCIT Retiree’s Association (BCITRA) is an association established for BCIT retirees and their spouses/partners. Membership has a number of benefits and a very low annual membership fee.
For membership benefits, application and details, visit the BCIT Retiree’s Association website.
Alternately, you may contact them at: